The coleus forskohlii root extract known as forskolin has quickly become a favorite in the past few years for those attempting to accelerate weight-loss mechansims, as it has proven that it has several remarkable and unique abilities. The plant started to earn acclaim as a testosterone booster and fat burner after the publicity it received through a Dr. Oz segment on his show.
However, Dr. Oz isn’t the only person who is raving about forskolin, as scientists and medical professionals have found that the plant has multiple uses, many of which haven’t been fully realized. And that is largely in part for stimulating and being a potent activator and stimulator of cAMP levels.
What Is Forskolin?
Found in the roots of Coleus forskohlii plant, or the Indian coleus, forskolin is an active compound that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of diseases and conditions. Related to mint, forskolin was first used in India as an all-natural, herbal medicine. In recent years, however, this plant and its many benefits have been embraced by the Western world. Supplement reviews about forskolin started popping up everywhere and the internet was in a complete frenzy and free for all when it came to obtaining pure forskolin to lose weight, burn fat, and get lean.
Forskolin works by stimulating an ever-important enzyme called adenylate cyclase. By stimulating this enzyme, forskolin helps increase the amount of cyclic adenosine monophosphate, or cAMP, in the blood cells.
This may be a little confusing, so it’s easier to think of forskolin as something that encourages the good things in cells to work better. It works similarly to neurotransmitters and hormones, but forskolin can activate itself, which those two are unable to do.
Most Common Uses Of Forskolin
The reason people are so excited about forskolin and its health benefits is because research has already shown that having more cAMP in the cells promotes amazing effects in the human body.
Higher cAMP levels have already been associated with fewer blood clots, better heart health, fewer allergies, and even an increased function of the thyroid. On the other end of the spectrum, lower cAMP levels are associated with several health issues. Studies have shown that lower cAMP activity in cells can be tied to obesity, asthma, and skin issues.
As mentioned above, many health benefits have been associated with forskolin and the cAMP activity it causes on a cellular level. Below is a list of some of the most exciting benefits.
Forskolin & Weight-Loss
Of all the studies done on the benefits of forskolin, the most extensive ones have been on how forskolin relates to weight loss.
A study done by the College of Medicine at Penn State University found that people who struggled with obesity had lowed cAMP levels. This lead to a theory that by increasing those cAMP levels, weight may be lost easier.
The conclusions drawn at Penn State led to animal studies on how coleus forskohlii breaks down fat within cells. When the results of these studies were positive, it moved on to human testing. The first human trial looked at 30 adult males who suffered from being overweight or obese. Those who took forskolin during the 12 week trial lost more weight than those who did not.
The second trial was much smaller, but looked at how forskolin worked in overweight women. At the end of this trial, which only lasted eight weeks, the six women who participated in the trial reduced their body fat by almost 8%.
Forskolin & Asthma
Medicines that treat asthma usually include chemicals to raise the cAMP levels in the body. This method is used to help relax the muscles of the throat, to allow air to pass through more freely. Forskolin is an all-natural alternative to some of these medicines. Because it also increases cAMP, it helps minimize resistance in the airways of those who suffer from asthma.
In addition to this, coleus forskohlii has been shown to increase how much air the lungs can inhale and exhale.
Forskolin & Glaucoma
The loss of vision due to damage caused by pressure in the eye is called glaucoma. This condition, despite much research done on the topic, has very few treatment and prevention options. Recently, however, studies were done to see if adding forskolin, in eye drop form, could help prevent this problem.
The studies found that the eye drops made from a solution of coleus forskohlii reduced the pressure on the eyes for several hours. While these eye drops aren’t available in pharmacies or hospitals yet, it’s a huge step forward in finding a treatment for this condition.
Forskolin & Urinary Tract Infections
Intensive research has been done on how increased cAMP levels in cells can help kill the bacteria that causes urinary tract infections (UTI). Most common in women, UTI’s are notorious for returning, even after treatment is completed. In fact, research has found that almost a third of all UTI’s return after being treated with antibiotics.
The bacteria that cause these infections retract under certain conditions, making it nearly impossible for treatments to clear the entire system. Forskolin supplements help kill the bacteria in the bladder and urinary tract by keeping it extended so the antibiotics can completely kill off the infection.
Forskolin & Other Conditions
While the benefits of forskolin listed above have extensive research, there are several other conditions that it is believed to treat, though they haven’t been studied as much. As forskolin and its relationship with cAMP is explored in the future, the information available on these conditions should grow. They include:
- Colon Cancer
- Hearing Loss
Methods of Treatment
Forskolin comes in many different forms. The most popular at the moment is as a capsule supplement. It also comes in ointment form and it should soon be available as an eye drop.
Dosage will depend on what the forskolin is treating and the size of the person taking it.